Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility is a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable to itself, its stakeholders and the public. By practicing corporate social responsibility, also called corporate citizenship, companies can become conscious of their impact on all aspects of society, including the economic, social and environmental. Corporate social responsibility is a broad concept that can take many forms depending on the company and industry. Through corporate social responsibility programs, philanthropy, and volunteer efforts, businesses can benefit society while strengthening their brands. Corporate social responsibility is as valuable to a company as it is to the community. Corporate social responsibility activities can help build a stronger bond between employees and companies; increase morale; helps both employees and employers feel more connected to the world around them.
In order for a company to be socially responsible, it must first be accountable to itself and its shareholders. Often times, companies that have adopted corporate social responsibility programs have grown their business to the point where they can give back to society. Therefore, Corporate Social Responsibility is primarily the strategy of large companies. Also, the more visible and successful a company is, the more responsibility it requires in setting standards of ethical behavior for its peers, competition, and industry.
In 2010, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published a set of voluntary standards to help companies practice corporate social responsibility. Unlike other ISO standards, ISO 26000 provides guidance rather than requirements because corporate social responsibility is qualitative rather than quantitative and its standards cannot be documented. ISO 26000 clarifies what social responsibility is and helps organizations translate corporate social responsibility principles into practical actions. The standard targets all types of organizations, regardless of their activities, size or location. In addition, this standard represents an international consensus, as many key stakeholders from around the world have contributed to the development of ISO 26000.